A Comprehensive Guide to Setting Up Your First SEM Campaign

Search Engine Marketing is a new marketing strategy that your business can use. You pay to display your ads on different search engines: Google, Bing, and Yahoo. They’re usually labeled as “sponsored” or “ad”.

SEM has been so relevant today. It allows you to stand out, connect with your target, and get fast results. Through every click, you can see how much money is being spent. Of course, you can fit it with your budget and goals.

Whether you’re a small or big business, let’s start setting up your first SEM campaign!

Planning Your SEM Campaign

If you think your SEM campaign will be about picking keywords and making ads, it’s not just about that. It has got to start with organizing. Let’s try to dig deeper!

Step 1: Learn the Campaign Hierarchy

Imagine your SEM campaign as a triangle divided into three parts. The top part is your campaigns. They contain the overall theme or goal of why you’re doing this campaign.

For instance, if you’re running a clothing brand, you have separate campaigns for men’s, women’s, and kids’ clothing.

In the middle of your triangle are your ad groups. This is more specific. It combines similar keywords and ads that are related to each other. Like, for instance, “Men’s jackets” and Women’s jackets.”

At the bottom of the triangle are your keywords. This part usually determines when your ad shows up. You add relevant words that can display your ads. Taking “Men’s jackets” as an example, you can add “Men’s winter jackets”.

This structure helps you keep your ads organized and relevant to what people are searching for.

Step 2: Organizing Your Ad Group

Note that every keyword and ad you place in a group needs to be related. If it’s about “Men’s jackets”, even the landing page should focus on it.

Sort your products into their categories, and they need to have their own group. Also, use different keyword types to control how specific your ads are. Choose what matches your goals.

Step 3: Ad Scheduling

To do this step, you need first to research past data. Check when your audience has been most active and what ads are effective.

After scheduling when your ads will most likely appear, you can even change your bids to get more attention. Your content can be customized anytime, as well.

Step 4: Geo-Targeting

Connected with the third step, you can choose to whom you show your ads. It can be in a whole country, a specific state, or a neighborhood.

In your content, try to be more personal and make it look like it’s just for them. Adjust accordingly to the observations you’re seeing.

Step 5: Bidding and Budget Management

As you run your ads on your chosen search engines, you must decide how much you will spend. This process is called “bidding”, and it’s crucial to make your campaign work.
To set bids, there are four things you need to keep in mind:
  1. Manual Bidding – Having full control and choosing exactly how much to pay for each ad.

  2. Automated Bidding – Using algorithms to adjust your bids based on the clock rate or the device they’re using.

  3. Target CPA – Keeps your ad costs on a certain level but still achieves results.

  4. Target ROAS – Make sure that you get what you paid for with your ads.

Which one you pick depends on what you want to achieve, how much data you have, and how much time you can spend adjusting things.

If you’re worried about how much you spend, always go to what makes you comfortable. Don’t go over. As much as you have multiple ad campaigns, give more money to those ads you highly prioritize.

A tip: Get ready to change your budget during special promotions. Keep an eye on how your ads are doing and do what works best.

Optimizing Your Ongoing Campaign

Are you currently working on a campaign? Let’s optimize it! Doing so can improve your online ads and give you more value for your money. For the main things you need to do, proceed below:
  1. Adjust Your Bids

    We’ve mentioned how you need to do this in your ad campaign. If this current one is the very first one, keep an eye on the progress of your ads.

    If you want the best results, change your bids regularly. For instance, you might put more money in keywords that work well than those that don’t.

  2. Test Your Ad Copy

    Ad text is so important. Try to see different versions of your ads. Start to check what gets more clicks. Do changes to the others that get fewer clicks. Maybe check the following:

  3. Manage Negative Keywords

    Every business doesn’t like this for their ads. So, reviewing what words work and don’t helps you from spending money on the wrong searches.

  4. Improve Your Ad Rank

    To determine your rank, you look at your search engine and see yours high up – that’s your goal. Make your ads more relevant. Use ad extensions to give more info to people.

  5. Expand Your Keywords

    As much as you should not waste the words you place on your campaign, also look for new keywords to target. Why? It helps you reach more people. The more specific your keywords are, the more chances you have to increase your sales.

Other SEM Practices First-timers Must Know

  1. Ad Quality and Relevancy

    Your ads should be closely related to what people are looking for. Pick words that are not only popular but should also reflect your products and services. Be careful that the words you choose aren’t trademarked or making false claims. In addition, tell them why they should choose your business. As they access your website, let them quickly find what they want.

  2. Quality Score Optimization

    Quality Score shows how good your ad can be in your SEO engines. The ranking is usually based on three things: the clicks on your ad, the relevance, and the credibility of your website. Keep an eye on it and see if it’s improving.

  3. Local and Mobile Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

    This added strategy is to reach people in specific areas. It’s all about using digital advertising to get people in particular areas and on mobile devices.You usually have tools that help you connect with your audience right away. This increases the chance of getting visitors and sales.

  4. Remarketing and Retargeting

    This technique helps attract those who visited your website but didn’t push through.It starts by putting a tracking code to watch what visitors do. You then create unique ads on their websites or notify them about the products they are looking at.

  5. Video Advertising

    66% of people watching video ads are popular, especially on YouTube and TikTok. To make an effective ad, do something that interests your audience.

  6. Shopping Campaigns (E-commerce)

    For all of you online business sellers, these campaigns are a must-have. This process involves showing your products in search results. You state the prices and also provide pictures. After, you put them into groups and decide how much to spend.

  7. A/B Testing Advanced Tactics

    A/B testing means trying different things to see what works best. You can test different versions of your:

    • Website pages
    • Ad texts
    • Phone numbers

Setting Up Your SEM Campaigns with Freedom Media Group

We at Freedom Media Group specialize in SEM and other services that can boost your marketing efforts. Partnering with us means growing your business while we handle your SEM campaigns.

Your campaigns are a big step to make yourself known. With this guide, we want you to take the steps to improvement. Start the process today with Freedom Media Group!